Blogs on Curriculum Planning

Blogs on Curriculum PlanningRSS
Matthew FarberDecember 3, 2013

"I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think." - Steve Jobs

The above quote is on the homepage of the coding website Tynker. Coding, formerly known as programming (I still remember teaching myself BASIC on my Commodore 64 back in the '80s!), has once again returned to classrooms nationwide. A range of high-profile individuals, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Dr. Oz and Ashton Kutcher, among others, have lent their support to Code.org, a non-profit that advocates a return to coding in the classroom.

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Judy Willis MDNovember 19, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

For many students, the brain isn't a hot topic of conversation. This is especially true for younger students who are still trying to understand the world around them, and are still far from developing physiological self-awareness of the very thing that gives them that self-awareness.

But helping students develop "brain literacy" doesn't have to be a matter of dry science pumped full of confusing jargon. Understanding the brain can be empowering for students as they recognize their ability to strengthen it each time they use it. As a teacher, you can emphasize how using the executive functions, both in the classroom and outside of school, increases their strength for academic success. Practice makes perfect!

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Ben JohnsonNovember 19, 2013

When Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe wrote Understanding by Design (UbD) they did what no other educator had ever accomplished. They unequivocally cast assessment in the central role of teaching and learning by making the forceful argument that testing should not be the afterthought of instruction, but the central point of instruction.

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Maurice EliasNovember 14, 2013

The jury is in and the verdict is that gratitude should be set free. It no longer has to be reserved for special occasions and amazing circumstances. Researchers, led by The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has Robert Emmons and Jeffrey Froh, have shown that there are benefits to expressing gratitude, even to "counting one's blessings." But doing so takes a bit of practice.

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Anne OBrienNovember 13, 2013

We (meaning all of us -- educators, parents, businesspeople, politicians and others) often default to an economic argument in discussions of public education, no matter the particular initiative at hand. The economic argument resonates with the public, which understands the importance of education in getting a good job and providing for one's family.

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Ben JohnsonNovember 11, 2013

I tried every trick in the book: framing the lesson, detailed instructions, hands-on learning, proximity, hand signals, rewards, punishment, and ultimatums -- all to no avail. My middle school Spanish students continued to want to chat, throw paper airplanes, get out of their seats, and disrupt instruction. Only two things that seemed to work in getting my students to pay attention were total physical response (TPR) and worksheets.

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Matt DavisNovember 5, 2013

Many teachers this year are updating existing curriculum for the Common Core. And it's going to be a long process for everyone. Here, I've collected some open resources that might help in that process, with links to lessons that can serve as building blocks for Common Core-aligned units. The emphasis this time is on English language arts in middle school.

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Andrew MarcinekNovember 4, 2013

There's a subtle but steady shift happening in classrooms across the nation. More and more, schools are seeking efficient, cost-effective alternatives to using paper and supporting over-priced textbook companies. One way is by supporting technology in schools. Schools are seeking ways to upgrade and sustain wireless infrastructures and integrate mobile devices that broaden teaching and learning opportunities. Similarly, schools are decreasing their dependency on paper and incorporating digital workflows.

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Nicholas ProvenzanoOctober 29, 2013

When was the last time you asked your students what they wanted to learn? Take a minute and think about that. In the go-go world of Common Core, Smarter Balance and other assessments, when do we focus on what kids want to learn?

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Heather Wolpert-GawronOctober 24, 2013

In honor of October's most awesome of holidays, I am going to begin a three-part series about the gentlemen zombie's choice of cuisine: the 'tween brain. However, I need to be frank. I'm not going to be able to teach you deeply about the 'tween brain here. I'm not a neurologist. What I am going to do is make an argument, hopefully a darn good one, as to why you should educate yourself further about it.

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